Insect Protein: The Future of Gainz

Tis’ the Season of Gainz!!

This is my first official blog post!! I have been using my Facebook profile  to post nutrition and fitness related content that I come across in either my nutrition work as a dietetic intern, or what I come across as a personal trainer and coach. I felt creating an actual blog was needed to better spread the great nutrition and fitness information I research.  My goal structurally is to keep my blogs short and concise, I’d rather not “intimidate” anyone with any long reads. So lets begin!

cricket-protein-bar-maker-seeks-to-normalize-the-consumption-of-insects_strict_xxlI came across this article in the New York Times researching for a paper for class. The article talks about insect protein as a sustainable novel (new) protein. The sustainable aspect comes from the premise that in order to raise crickets for protein, than can feed off waste products, such as crop residue after a harvest. And the insects emit far fewer greenhouse gases “aka” less of a carbon footprint; and can survive a nuclear explosion (doubt anything would survive that). Unfortunately, the amount of protein you would get from feeding crickets, for example, is very little. In order to have the same amount of protein yield, insects would have to be feed the same grain based feed as domestic animals, like cows and chickens. 

But what about the GAINZ??? Yes, the protein content in insects is comparable to that of our traditional protein rich food stables: Fish, Beef, Turkey and Chicken. At 40–75 g/100g dry weight, and a high digestibility, insect protein could be the protein of the next generation. The issue is really the YUCK FACTOR. Are you willing to snack on a baked cricket for a afternoon snack to pair with that apple?…most likely only the most extreme foodie would venture that far. But HEY…there are many countries that are eating insects, it is part of their culture, and we should respect their preference of GAINZ. There is another option for those of us willing to try something new, but can’t stay a bug in the face and think YUM. There are food companies that made , that incorporates insect protein powder into their supplemental bars. 

What a sight that would be…seeing farmers raising not cattle, but crickets in the barns of the future. 

Verkerk MC, Tramper J, van Trijp JCM, Martens DE. Insect cells for human food. Biotechnol Adv. 2007;25(2):198-202.